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taxi-2118183_1920-300x185Two owners of transport and taxi companies in northern New York state have pleaded guilty to various fraud charges, including workers’ compensation and Medicaid fraud. These pleas are the latest developments in a two-year investigation into fraud led by the New York State Police in the Capital and Adirondack regions of the state.

Arshad Nazir, age 54, of Plattsburg is the owner of Capital Medallion, which does business under the name Avalanche Taxi. Nazir pleaded guilty to the federal felonies of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and to Pay Healthcare Kickbacks and Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud. As part of his plea agreement, at a later date, Nazir will also plead guilty to charges leveled by the state—Failure to Secure Workers’ Compensation and Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. Nazir will be sentenced on June 18. He faces a fine of up to $250,000 and ten years in prison.
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action-adult-bird-6050-300x200Terrence Devon Wilkins of Boynton Beach, Florida was arrested on Valentine’s Day for allegedly inappropriately touching a teenage girl and giving her a hickey.

Wilkins, 28, is charged with lewd or lascivious battery on a victim ages 12 to 16. He is being held without bond at Palm Beach County’s Main Detention Center. The press did not name an attorney for him.

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boys-childhood-children-551581-300x200Colin Edward McLean of Hollywood, Florida was arrested on February 6 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl and a 3-month-old baby girl.

McLean is charged with lewd and lascivious molestation on a minor and sexual assault on a minor. He is being held without bond. The press did not name an attorney for him.

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michigan-1191024_1920-300x200Yesterday, the Michigan Senate passed a bill which would require a criminal conviction before law enforcement can permanently take an individual’s assets using civil asset forfeiture.

This is the latest attempt by the legislature to reform civil asset forfeiture laws in the state. Last year, a similar bill passed the House but was never voted on in the Senate. Another bill introduced last year was intended to ensure police officers had adequate training when it came to seizing property. A third bill would have put local forfeiture processes under the domain of state law, making asset forfeiture consistent across the state.
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jacksonville-77804_1920-300x179A Jacksonville, Florida brother and sister have been sentenced for their role in a scheme to illegally employ undocumented immigrants in construction work. Their scheme involved avoiding millions of dollars in workers’ compensation insurance and payroll tax.

Fanny Melina Zelaya-Mendez, age 39, and Roger Omar Zelaya-Mendez, age 34, ran various shell companies which provided workers to contractors and subcontractors. They used these companies to hire and pay hundreds of undocumented immigrants. Since the contractors and subcontractors paid the workers through these shell companies, they were therefore able to avoid being responsible for making sure that the workers were authorized to work in the country, that the workers had workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and that the appropriate payroll taxes were being paid.
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